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May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

In the United States, 58.5 million people have arthritis. That’s 24% of the adult population.

There are many forms of arthritis. The most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other forms include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus. All can have debilitating symptoms. 

One in four Americans is likely to suffer from it, so it’s important to know if you’re at risk. Now is a great time to learn more as May is National Arthritis Awareness Month.

There are usually many events and activities that aim to highlight arthritis issues. These also help raise funds for further research. 

You can get involved too! But first, read some key information on arthritis including symptoms and risk factors.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Many people suffer from joint pain. But this doesn’t have to be a symptom of arthritis. It would be hard to determine without a proper diagnosis. It’s one of the reasons why arthritis awareness is important. Here are some key warning signs you should look out for:


Arthritis pain can be irregular or constant. It’s possible to feel this pain in any part of your body and it can occur while you’re moving or at rest.


Some types of arthritis cause the skin of the affected area to become swollen. It can also become red and warm when touched.

Prolonged swelling that lasts three or more days and that occurs more than three times within a  month isn’t a good sign. You should call your doctor immediately if this occurs.


Early morning stiffness is common with some types of arthritis. If it lasts for more than an hour, it’s a good indication you may have arthritis. You may also experience stiffness after trying to get up after sitting for long periods.

Stiffness may also occur after a strenuous activity such as exercise and can be persistent.

Less Joint Mobility

Moving a joint can become painful. This may be more noticeable when you try to get up from a chair. However, it could indicate other joint problems. Your doctor would need to make a proper diagnosis.

Physical therapy and exercise can improve your range of motion. It’s the reason for the promotion of physical activity during arthritis awareness month.

Arthritis Risk Factors

Risk factors determine if you have a greater likelihood of getting an illness. There are several risk factors associated with arthritis. These include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Sex
  • Previous joint injury

If you have any arthritis symptoms and you think you may have associated risk factors, have a healthcare provider assess you.

Types of Arthritis

Five common types of arthritis can occur in adults. Younger patients can also suffer from childhood arthritis.


Osteoarthritis or OA occurs when the joint cartilage deteriorates. This results in the underlying bones changing. It is a slow progression that gets worse with time.

OA sufferers get most of the symptoms mentioned above. This includes swelling, pain, and stiffness.

In more severe cases it can cause disability. It can also lead to reduced function that affects a person’s ability to do daily tasks.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also known as RA, it is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease. It causes your immune system to attack healthy cells. The result is painful swelling that affects mainly the joints of your body.

It can affect multiple joints at the same time causing inflammation in their lining. This causes damage to the joint tissue.

It can be long-lasting and manifest as chronic pain, a deformity, or lack of balance. Severe cases can affect other tissues and organs including the eyes, lungs, and heart.


This condition causes widespread body pain, fatigue, and sleep issues. This often leads to mental and emotional distress.

Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to be more sensitive to pain. This is due to abnormal pain perception processing. It is not known what causes this condition. 


Lupus is also an autoimmune disease with symptoms that can mimic other conditions. These can be mild or sometimes life-threatening. It affects all parts of the body.

Arthritis Awareness Month

It may take more than a month to learn the intricacies of arthritis. But it’s a good start. Awareness can result in early diagnosis and treatment. 

Your participation can also help raise funds for further research. This is important for the treatment of more difficult cases. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms visit an emergency room in Cibolo, TX. You’ll receive exceptional care and treatment. 


Anonymous, “Arthritis” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), 3 Nov. 2021,

Anonymous, “Obesity Prevention Source – Health Risks, Weight Problems Take a Hefty Toll on Body and Mind” Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health,

Anonymous, “Autoimmune Diseases” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 9 Feb. 2022,